WI was delighted to welcome Dr Nic Fulcher when he came to talk
about New Place this month. It has gone through many owners
and transformations since being built by Hugh Clopton in 1483.
Firstly, the Grate House was willed to his grand-nephew
in 1496. He sold it in 1563 to William Bott then, in 1567, William
Underhill bought it, leaving it to his son in 1570. William
Shakespeare bought it in 1597, keeping it until 1616. Susanna
Hall then received it and passed it to her grand-daughter, Elizabeth,
on whose death in 1670 it came to Sir John Clopton, who demolished
it in 1702 and built on the site.
In 1759 there was another demolition. This is our New Place.
Thankfully, Nashs House and the site were given to the
Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in 1876. In 1912, Nashs House
was renovated with a modern form of wattle and daub to prevent
An oak-framed extension was built and New Place was left open.
There is now a modern knot garden whilst the Great Garden is
intact. The house was built around a courtyard, foundations
probably under Chapel Lane. Now, low walls are conserved beneath
earth; a rule for excavations.
The garden, with its bronze tree and the globe of the world
known to Shakespeare, form part of a spectacular centrepiece
and furniture of the period, also bronze, invites us to sit
and imagine what this house would have been.
In other business, Sylvia advised us of the difficulties experienced
by our shop and the Snitterfield Arms whilst the flood alleviation
work is progressing. Our Secretary, Carol, tempted us with news
of skittles, entertainment for Poppy Day and craft fairs. As
always, there are many activities for everyone before Christmastide.